The PlayStation 4 is, arguably, the most popular gaming platform available at the moment, although the company is always competing with Microsoft for the top slot. So, when Microsoft announced the ability to play Xbox One games via PC in Windows 10, Sony responded with PS4 Remote Play.

Here, we show you how to set up and install PS4 Remote Play to play your PS4 games on your PC, and also show you how to play PlayStation games on your PC if you don't already have a PlayStation. 

Interested in upcoming games? Take a look at our selection of the most anticipated games of 2017 and find out when Diablo 4 might come out.

In summary:

  1. Download and install the official Remote Play app for PC or Mac
  2. Ensure your PlayStation 4 is running software v3.50 or later via Settings > System Software Update
  3. Open PC Remote Play and connect your DualShock 4 controller
  4. Log into your PSN account
  5. Click Manually connect if your PS4 isn’t automatically found

System Requirements

Your PC or Mac has to be running one of the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 or later
  • OS X 10.10
  • OS X 10.11

You’ll be able to select from the following resolution and frame rate options, depending on your Internet connection – for 720p/60fps, a minimum internet connection of 5Mb is required.

  • Resolution options: 360p, 540p, 720p
  • Default resolution – 540p
  • Frame rate: Standard (30fps), High (60fps)
  • Default frame rate – Standard (30fps)

You'll also be able to use the DualShock 4 controller, though this will have to be connected to your PC or Mac via micro USB.

Read next: Everything we know so far about PlayStation VR

How to set up PS4 Remote Play on a PC or Mac

Step 1) Download and install PC/Mac client. The first step in our how-to is to download the official Remote Play app for PC or Mac – this can be downloaded from here. Once you’ve downloaded the installer, simply install the app by following the on-screen instructions.

Step 2) Update your PS4 software to 3.50 if you haven’t already. Depending on your PlayStation 4 settings, you should be prompted to download and install the update automatically. However, if this hasn’t happened, don’t fear - you can also go to Settings > System Software Update to manually trigger the update.

Step 3) Open PC Remote Play app and connect your DualShock 4 controller. Even though most PCs and Macs offer Bluetooth support, Sony has designed the Remote Play app to only work with wired connections. This means you’ll have to plug your PS4 controller into your PC/Mac via a USB cable, then click “Start”.

Step 4) Log in to your PSN account. This should be the same as the main account you use on your PlayStation 4.

Step 5a) App will automatically search for your PS4. The search may take a few minutes but if it doesn’t show up after an extended period of time, it has to be done manually. Sony claims that the search won’t find your PlayStation 4 via the Internet if it isn’t registered as your Primary PS4, or if it’s completely powered off (opposed to being in Rest Mode where it’s able to remotely turn it on).

Step 5b) If it isn’t found, click Manually Connect. It’s worth noting that manually connecting to your PS4 requires both the PS4 and PC/Mac to be on the same network. On your PS4, head to Settings > Remote Play Connection Settings > Add device and enter the number provided on the Remote Play app.

Step 6 – Get ready to game. If all goes well, your PC should then connect to your PS4 and you can start gaming away. If you want to tweak your connection settings, you must first disconnect from Remote Play by turning off your PS4 or closing the Remote Play app. Before clicking “Start” to connect to your PS4, click Settings and tweak the Resolution/Framerate.

Read next: What is PlayStation Now?

We talked about all the latest PlayStation news in our podcast. Listen here:

Play PlayStation games on PC using PlayStation Now

For those that don't have a PlayStation, never fear - While Sony’s PlayStation Now service isn’t necessarily new, it’s now available on PC – and soon to be Mac too. What does this mean for PC gamers? It could essentially open up a new market for Sony, as it allows gamers to casually play PlayStation games without having to invest in a PlayStation themselves.

For those that know nothing of the service, Sony offers gamers the opportunity to browse from a catalogue of over 500 PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games, including big names like Uncharted and The Last of Us

The biggest benefit for gamers is that most titles in Sony’s library can be immediately streamed (if you’ve got a fast enough internet connection, that is!) although larger games, more detailed may require a small download first.

New gamers get a 7-day trial to test Sony’s Netflix-of-gaming service, and those that enjoy it can pay £12.99 a month to carry on using it. New games are added on a monthly basis too, so there’s no risk of the collection becoming boring.

There’s also a dongle available for PC and Mac gamers, allowing them to wirelessly use their DualShock 4 controller (it can only be used when wired currently) when playing PS Now games, as well as other controller-supported games.

Want to know how to play a number of PlayStation games on your PC? Well, here’s how to do it:

1) Download the PlayStation Now installer for PC from the Sony website, run the installer and follow the on-screen prompts to install the app on your PC.

2) The PlayStation Now app should automatically open after install, but if it doesn’t, open it manually.

3) You should be taken to a sign up window - if you’ve already got a Sony Entertainment Network login (as most PlayStation gamers will), click ‘Sign in now’ but if not, follow the on-screen prompts to create an account from scratch.

4) Once you log in, you’ll be welcomed by a banner prompting you to start your free 7-day trial, as well as a selection of the games you’ll be able to play. Click the “7-day free trial” button and follow the prompts to sign up for a PlayStation Now trial using your SEN login. It’s worth noting that the trial will automatically turn into a subscription unless you head to your Account Settings, click Media, click the PS Now subscription and click “Cancel automatic renewal”.

5) Once you’ve signed up, it’s time to choose a game to play. You can browse a selection of PS3 games in a Netflix-style layout, and simply click “Start” on the game you want to play. While most games will be streamed immediately, larger games (like infamous 2) will require some kind of download before hand.

Once you’ve clicked Start and initiated the game, it’s time to plug in and use your DualShock 4 controller. Once it’s plugged in, you should be ready to game on!

As PS Now games are streamed and not downloaded, it’s possible to sync your progress between various PCs and PlayStations, allowing you to pick up where you left off during your lunch break at work without transferring any save data.

Read next: Best PS4 games of 2017 and How to use a PS4 controller on PC